There’s a Buddhist proverb that says If you light a lamp for someone, it will also brighten your own path. Take a moment to ruminate in that truth. There is boundless potential in our industry. There is no lack for professionals with years of experience who are bursting with expertise, passion, and stories of grit. These individuals have the power to ignite a bright industry future. And you are these individuals.
It is likely that at some point in your professional career, you were mentored. And it can be said that mentoring is an imperative ingredient in the recipe to drive a successful workforce future.
However, there is a major disconnect happening in our industry. According to the Women in the Workplace research data that was recently released, women still feel like it is harder for them to advance in their careers. This data also revealed that women get less access to senior leaders than men do, and they receive less support from managers.
For every one hundred men promoted into manager-level jobs, seventy-nine women are.
It’s time to take action! Senior leaders and managers need to become champions of diversity.
However, the value of being a mentor is often overlooked. Sure, being a mentor requires time, effort, and commitment. And understandably, as a busy professional, those things are in short supply. But what many fail to realize is that mentoring someone actually brings a lot of value to your own career.
Mentoring improves your communication and supervisory skills. It’s no secret that effective managers and leaders need to be able to establish positive and trusted relationships. Working with a mentee offers you the opportunity to hone the skills necessary to develop those relationships such as active listening and empathy.
You expand your network. A critical part of mentoring is helping your mentee establish important connections. As you support your mentee in this, you have the opportunity to continue to build your own.
You stay current on industry trends and continue to learn. Working with a mentee allows you to have conversations that keep you up-to-date on your industry. Mentees often bring great questions, new ideas and fresh perspectives to the table. These conversations offer you the opportunity for growth in your own career.
You actively contribute to industry change. The data doesn’t lie; women are still getting left behind in the workplace. But as a mentor, you have the opportunity to actively contribute to the change in the industry by sharing your expertise and empowering future leaders.
Getting involved as a mentor is easy. Get engaged with our partner, Lean In Equity & Sustainability. Join the program today. It connects women and men with peers who can challenge and encourage them to charge forward in their careers, counteracting any gender bias that they may meet along the way. Lean In Equity and Sustainability is an independent gender diversity and inclusion initiative operating under the LeanIn.Org umbrella. It is a member-centric, diverse, international circle of women and allies supporting and empowering women to achieve their ambitions.